Tag Archives: Colden Auditorium

The Jacksons’ 50th anniversary tour coming to Queens

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Kupferberg Center for the Arts

One of the most famous families in music history is stopping in Flushing later this summer to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The Jacksons, known for hits with younger brother Michael, such as “ABC,” “I Want You Back” and “I’ll Be There,” are coming to the Kupferberg Center for the Arts for one night only, kicking off the venue’s 2015-16 season.

The show, on Sunday, August 30, is just one day after the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s birthday, when the late pop star would have turned 57, and will feature video footage that chronicles the evolution of the Jacksons.

This concert, which is the group’s only New York City-area stop, also promises to be full of energy with their famous dance moves and costumes.

Tickets are now on sale for the 7 p.m. performance at the Kupferberg Center’s Colden Auditorium and range in price from $35 to $79. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.


BP Melinda Katz delivers her first State of the Borough address

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Borough President Melinda Katz delivered her first State of the Borough speech on Thursday, celebrating the borough’s diversity, its recent prominence as a tourism destination and the nurturing environment that she said has made Queens “the borough of families.”

“If it’s good for our families, it’s good for Queens,” said Katz, repeating what she said is her administration’s motto at Borough Hall and what was the focus of her 50-minute speech at Colden Auditorium at Queens College.

After a five-minute video that included Queens residents talking about the borough and Katz recounting how she grew up here, the daughter of civic-minded parents proud of the borough they called home, Katz took to the stage and welcomed the audience in eight languages.

“My parents believed that Queens held all the elements of any great city, and that no one should need to cross a bridge or tunnel to experience arts, culture, fine dining or great neighborhoods,” Katz said. “I inherited their vision while growing up here, from my childhood in Forest Hills to my education at our public schools to studying law at St. John’s.”

Packed into the 2,124-seat auditorium, filled nearly to capacity, were a host of elected officials, civic leaders and residents from across the borough.

Elected officials Katz mentioned individually included State Comptroller Tom Di Napoli, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, former Council Speaker Peter Vallone, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, as well as the borough’s entire City Council delegation and state lawmakers.

She made a special point to welcome newly-minted state Sen. Leroy Comrie, who she hired as a deputy during her first year as borough president before he was elected state senator.

And Katz twice asked for a moment of silence, once for the two officers killed in Brooklyn last month and another for former Gov. Mario Cuomo, a son of Queens, who died on New Year’s Day.

While Katz spent much of the time celebrating recent successes, like the borough’s designation as the nation’s top tourist destination for 2015 by travel guide publisher Lonely Planet and its recognition as being “the intersection of the world” for its sweeping ethnic and racial diversity, she also laid out challenges and goals ahead. They included the following:

  • Job creation, especially for LaGuardia and JFK airports and the health sector.
  • Advocating for the return of the Rockaway Ferry, which saw a brief existence during the post-Sandy recovery but was discontinued soon after.
  • Creating more pre-K seats to expand the program’s reach and expanding the Gifted and Talented program. She also emphasized the need to invest in the CUNY schools within Queens “so that folks stay in Queens or they come back and build a family.”
  • Providing affordable housing, especially for seniors, many of whom become the caretakers for young families.

Katz, who is raising her two children in the same Queens home where she grew up, blasted Common Core, the controversial new teaching curriculum being used across schools in the city and state.

“I feel in my gut that there’s something wrong here,” she said. “It’s not a common core. It’s a common problem. We’ve got to do something about it.”

And at the core of all of these issues, Katz said, is the family. Here in the “World’s Borough,” Katz said, the American dream is alive and well. And that’s all thanks to the families.

“Both new arrivals and long-established families create the communities which make it uniquely attractive, for visitors and for investors alike,” she said. “And like generations before them, they come here to work hard and raise their children as Americans. People spend their life savings to come here from all over the world just to educate their children right where we are sitting right now.”


Bill Cosby coming to Queens

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Erinn Chalene

Hey, hey, hey, Bill Cosby is coming our way.

On Saturday, April 6, one of America’s most beloved and respected comedians, will be taking the stage at the Colden Auditorium at Queens College to share his stories with anyone looking for a night filled with laughs.

“For me to perform at a college is usually an opportunity to speak and perform. I do not come out and do ‘educational questions;’ this is a performance,” he said. “You get Bill Cosby, the talking comedian who performs his own writings.”

No matter the generation gap or gender of his audience, Cosby has fascinated fans with his comedy routines, iconic albums and best-selling books. Cosby promises the upcoming show will be “hilarious” and will include the audience’s identification with the subject of conflicts at home, parenting, and relationships pertaining to the student.

“It’s not about the changing of a chair that the student sits in, or whether or not someone can record what the professor is saying or whether one has a computer or a number two yellow pencil,” he said. “It’s about the human beings.”

Having experience with raising five children with the former Camille Hanks, Cosby believes it is very important to bring such subjects out on stage and watch everyone laugh and have them know that the person talking to them knows something about their feelings.

“People come out saying things like ‘how did he get in my house?’” he quipped.

Cosby holds fond memories of Queens when the Huxtables made their move from Brooklyn to Astoria, spending many years filming “The Cosby Show” at Kaufman Astoria Studios and where later “Cosby,” a CBS comedy TV series, was also filmed for three years.

“Many times there are people who have shot their shows there and they always say ‘we were in your studio,’” he said.
Breaking television’s racial barrier with the series “I Spy” in the 1960s, Cosby became the first African American to costar in a television series while winning three consecutive Emmys. He also went on to create and produce the Emmy award-winning cartoon “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids,” designed both to entertain and educate viewers.

With Cosby’s intent on portraying an American family, “The Cosby Show” was about a close-knit, upper middle class African-American family. The show conquered the number one spot for years, earning admiration for its contribution to American entertainment and culture.

In his current best-seller titled “I Didn’t Ask to Be Born, But I’m Glad I Was,” Cosby talks about everything from the Bible to being a grandfather.

For those not familiar with his style of performing, Cosby recommends they watch scenes from his recent appearances on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” or the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Cosby’s performance is part of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts’ “Best of the Best Series.” Tickets are $35 to $65 and are available by calling the Kupferberg Center Box Office at 718-793-8080 or online at www.KupferbergCenter.org.



Seinfeld comes home, performs at alma mater Queens College

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of John Shearer

When Jerry Seinfeld emerged from behind the curtain at the Colden Auditorium, he was not only returning to his alma mater, but to the stage that helped launch his comedy career.

“This is where I started the whole damn thing,” Seinfeld said as he greeted the crowd at Queens College’s sold-out Colden Auditorium, his fourth of five shows in each of the city’s boroughs.

Seinfeld first landed on the Queens College stage in the 1970s as part of a student play.

“I was a reporter in the play and it wasn’t really supposed to be funny,” the Massapequa-born comedian remembered. “I came out and made the whole thing really funny and it wasn’t a comedy play.”

The director pulled him aside to remind him it wasn’t a comedy, Seinfeld said, “And I said, ‘Screw this acting thing, I’m going to [Manhattan comedy club] Catch a Rising Star.”

Between Catch a Rising Star and the Thursday, October 18 show, Seinfeld turned himself into a world-renowned comedian and co-creator of one of the most beloved sitcoms of all-time, “Seinfeld.”

Seinfeld, who helped write the show famously about nothing, still displayed the ability to riff on the frivolities of life, including a five-minute bit on breakfast and the magic of Pop-Tarts.

“Once there were Pop-Tarts, I did not understand why other types of food continued to exist,” Seinfeld joked. “My mother was shopping and preparing meals, I was like, ‘What are you doing, it’s over? You’ll never beat this.’”

Other topics touched on by the funnyman were marriage (“When you’re single you can oversleep a half hour and no one even notices”); energy drinks (“What does it even feel like to be in deficit of five hours of energy?”); and food (“Why is it that you can smell french fries through a three foot concrete wall?”).

But Seinfeld also focused on Queens in the homecoming show. It was his first time back to the school since he received an honorary doctorate in 1994.

“I am so happy to be back in Queens. I love Queens,” he said.

Students and residents can easily identify with the grief Seinfeld remembered from his two years at Queens College: Parking problems and the misnamed Utopia Parkway.

“At what point was that a utopia?” said Seinfeld, who carried a double major while at the school, communication and arts and sciences.

“I took two majors because both of those are about half a major together.”

Following the 75-minute show, Seinfeld returned to the stage to take questions from the audience.

When asked for a favorite episode, Seinfeld said he gets foggy on which stories go with which episode, but rattled off a few treasured scenes: the golf ball in the blowhole of the whale, George accidentally poisoning his fiancée with toxic envelopes and Jerry stealing the rye bread from the old lady.

Currently, Seinfeld is filming an Internet show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” which is exactly what the name implies. Seinfeld will pick up a comedian in an exotic car and they’ll chat and quip while driving and sitting down for a coffee or meal.

Among those featured on the show was his “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David, who rode in a 1952 VW Bug.

But those awaiting a reunion show will not be hearing “Seinfeld, party of four,” any time soon.

“When you sit in those director chairs, it’s just depressing,” Seinfeld said. “Yeah, it’s great, it’s great … it’s over.”

Jerry Seinfeld to perform stand-up in Queens

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Twitter/@JerrySeinfeld

The comedian and former television star will do stand-up shows in all the five boroughs this fall, including one on October 14 at the Colden Auditorium at Queens College in Flushing, reported Playbill.com. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on July 30 at 10 a.m.

Seinfeld, who went to school in Queens, has not performed a full show in New York City in 14 years.

Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012
The Beacon Theatre located at 2124 Broadway
Tickets are available online at www.BeaconTheatre.com or by calling  (866) 858-0008

Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012
Lehman Concert Hall located at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West
Tickets are available online at www.LehmanCenter.org or by calling (718) 960-8833

Queens (Flushing)
Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012
The Colden Auditorium at Queens College located at 65-30 Kissena Blvd.
Tickets are available online at www.KupferbergCenter.org or by calling (718) 793-8080

Staten Island
Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012
The St. George Theatre located at 35 Hyatt Street
Tickets are available online at www.TicketMaster.com or by calling (718) 442-2900

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012
The Walt Whitman Theatre at Brooklyn College located at 2900 Campus Road
Tickets are available online at www.BrooklynCenter.com or by calling (718) 951-4500

Queens College cuts ribbon on four renovated arts venues

| mchan@queenscourier.com


A ribbon-cutting ceremony at Queens College marked the completion of renovations to the campus’ four arts venues and the start of a “renaissance” throughout the borough, said the school’s top official.

“Today is a landmark for our arts center,” said Queens College President Dr. James Muyskens. “There is no other way to describe Queens College’s vision of the future than to call it the Queens renaissance. Our aspirations are that high, our commitment is that fierce, and the impact we can have is great.”

Four arts venues within the Selma and Max Kupferberg Center for the Visual and Performing Arts — the Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Music Building, Goldstein Theatre, and Colden Auditorium — were officially reopened on June 11 after two years of interior and exterior renovations.

Renovations included redesigns and enhancements to the interior lobbies and facades, along with new landscaping and signage, and updated technical, HVAC and security systems.

“We believe that as part of this renaissance in Queens, we must expand our programs into the communities where our students and their families live and work. We can brighten so many lives by streaming live concerts and performances into schools, libraries and nursing homes by providing workshops, seminars and presentations off campus and so much more,” Muyskens said.

Officials at the institution also paid thanks to Max and Selma Kupferberg, the two benefactors who donated $10 million to the college in 2006 to support the arts.

“The borough of Queens is on the brink of perhaps the most exciting time in its history,” Muyskens said. “We are standing on the shoulders of a giant, and in this case those shoulders belong to Max Kupferberg.”